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Salavarria v. National Car Rental System, Inc.

Court of Appeal of Louisiana
705 So. 2d 809 (La. App. 4th Dist. 1998)


Louisiana residents Henry Salavarria and others (plaintiffs) were injured when Salavarria’s car collided with a rental car driven by Heather Trempe in Louisiana. The rental car was owned by National Car Rental Systems, Inc. (National) (defendant). National was a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Florida. Mitchell Brogdon had rented the vehicle in Florida and was the only authorized driver listed on the contract. Trempe was not authorized to drive the car. Salavarria filed suit against National in Louisiana state court seeking damages. National moved for summary judgment based on a Louisiana law permitting self-insured car-rental agencies like National to contractually restrict the use of its vehicles to authorized users. Therefore, National claimed it was not liable for the accident caused by Trempe, an unauthorized driver. The trial court denied National’s motion and applied a Florida law. Florida law did not distinguish between authorized and unauthorized drivers in holding vehicle owners vicariously liable for injuries caused to others. National appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Byrnes, J.)

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